Leaving the EU: Food Quality Standards

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 12th July 2018.

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Photo of Danielle Rowley Danielle Rowley Labour, Midlothian 12:00 am, 12th July 2018

What plans the Government have to maintain UK standards on food quality and safety in trade agreements concluded after the UK leaves the EU.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

As a country, we are proud of our high food safety and animal welfare standards, and we have no intention of undermining our reputation for quality by lowering our food and animal welfare standards in pursuit of trade deals.

Photo of Danielle Rowley Danielle Rowley Labour, Midlothian

The Government are demonstrating today that they are happy to roll out the red carpet for unpalatable arrivals from the US, so can the Minister confirm that the Prime Minister’s Chequers agreement means that we will hold a stronger line when it comes to rejecting chlorinated chicken imports?

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The existing food safety provisions on issues such as chlorinated chicken will come across through the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. We have always been clear that we will not water down our standards in pursuit of trade deals. The general approach is that if one is a guest in another country seeking to do business there, then one should adopt and abide by the customs and rules in those markets. That is what we do when we seek access to foreign markets, and that is what countries will have to do when they seek access to our markets.